The picture above shows a vitual classroom and is an example of ICT integration into the education process.
Ertmer’s article, ‘Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration’ looks at the use of ICT in classrooms and the relationship between a teacher’s own pedagogical beliefs. Ertmer argues that the most prevalent impediment to the full integration of ICT into our classrooms are the personal beliefs of teachers, this is despite the fact that frameworks for successful ICT integration into the education process are in place. She suggests a slow introduction of and training of teachers on new technologies, familiarising them with the ICT and encouraging them to integrate its use in their classrooms. It is about the change of teacher practices, to change their beliefs in the effectiveness of ICT in the classroom.
Brown, in his article ‘The growth of enterprise pedagogy: How ICT policy is infected by neo-liberalism. Australian Educational Computing’ looks to take to task the basic assumptions about the integration of ICT in Australian schools. He suggests that technology is merely a tool for education, therefore not a means to an ends in itself. He bemoans the lack of professional debate around the increase of technology in the classroom, highlighting the policy agendas of government and others as the primary driver of increased ICT use in the classroom. His article does not necessarily advocate the eradication of the use of ICT in the classroom, but to attempt to reclaim the discussion about education of Australian youth and pedagogy for those who are actively engaged in the classroom: teachers.
Ertmer and Brown both look at ICT Integration and the pedagogical beliefs of teachers from two completely different viewpoints. Ertmer’s view that the roadwork, so to speak, has been laid for the integration of high level technology in our classrooms suggests an almost intransigence on behalf of teachers in not adopting the new technology in a slavish, hungry vigour, whilst Brown suggests an almost malaise towards the subject from teachers, arguing the seeping of technology into our classrooms is due to shadowy neo-conservative agendas. But is there a middle road?
There can be no argument that as technology increases, teachers should look at better integrating it into their personal pedagogies. Technology can be utilised as a good cognition tool in educating students. To achieve this, Professional Development should be offered to teachers so that the technology can be utilised in an effective and meaningful manner and technology implementation, particularly when coming from government, should always have ubiquity at heart. But decisions on how technology should be integrated into the classroom should come from teachers themselves. This should be done at both a classroom and policy level.
This does not suggest that teachers should have sole control over the policy debate of the increase of technology in our classrooms. Teachers are one of many stakeholders in our classrooms. Instead, teachers should work together to formulate a viable and clear policy direction that keeps in mind the changes in our technology and the best ways to integrate its use into the classroom. It is not technology for technology’s sake, but utilising all the tools available to ensure that into the future, we can achieve the best educational outcomes for students.
Brown, M. (2005). The growth of enterprise pedagogy: How ICT policy is infected by neo-liberalism. Australian Educational Computing, 20(2), 16-22.
Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research & Development, 53(4), 25-39.
The picture at the beginning of the blog shows three students conversing utilising videoconferencing software. Whilst the picture depicts distance education, it can be used to elicit responses from students regarding ICT integration.
Which learning style/s does this ICT support?
This supports visual learning styles.
How could this ICT be implemented as a good cognitive tool within the learning environment?
The picture can be used to start discussion with the students about the use of ICT in the classroom and to think more deeply and debate the pros and cons of the increased use of this and other technologies in education.
How is this ICT enabling the development of creativity?
The picture requires the students to think about what is going on in the photo and to develop hypothesis about what is going on and eventually how this technology could be used in other settings.